Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1881) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. Dostoevsky’s literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of philosophical and religious themes.
Have you ever experienced something that you can’t explain? The paranormal is a popular debate with as many people dismissing it as nonsense as who firmly believe in it. Even motor vehicles can be affected by hauntings, mysterious deaths and unexplainable accidents. Below are ten haunted cars you probably wouldn’t want to take for a drive – so read on if you dare…
Creepy vehicles to make your hair stand on end
THE JUMPING CAR OF CAPE TOWN
It’s 2004 and a family is asleep. They had some friends around for dinner and the night is quiet and still – until they are startled by the roaring engine of their Renault Megane. They rush outside, fearing a robbery, and see their vehicle jumping around on their driveway. They call the police and tell them the truth – there was no break-in, no one in the car, the handbrake was still engaged and there weren’t any keys in the ignition. As the police see the car sitting still, they begin to suspect an elaborate joke – right up until the point the car roars into life once again and ploughs into a tree. With no one inside.
To this day, Renault themselves maintain the car probably had a faulty starter motor which caused the engine to start by itself. Quite how that explains the revving of the engine or the jumping movement of the car, as reported by nine eye-witnesses, is unclear. It was almost as if someone – or something – had its foot on the accelerator…
PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S LINCOLN LIMOUSINE
This is the exact car in which John F Kennedy was fatally shot during a Presidential visit to Dallas, Texas in 1963. If the fact that it was kept in service for several years after his assassination isn’t creepy enough, the supernatural presence felt by visitors to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan is more than worthy of a place on this list.
This vehicle has the least definitive haunting than any of the others, but there is a widespread rumour about a man in grey who stands near the car, indistinct enough in form to be labelled an apparition. It could just be a shadow or a trick of the light but the most common time to see the man in grey is late-November.
John F Kennedy was shot on the 22nd of November. Coincidence or a tortured soul forever trapped by his death limousine?
PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S FUNERAL GHOST TRAIN
Driving down the highway in New York State at night, you notice a cloud of thick, black fog swirling down the grassy verge beside you. You screech to a halt as fear begins to grip your veins. A ghostly train has emerged from the fog, overtaking you. It makes no noise that you can hear, but you catch a glimpse of skeletal soldiers in Union uniform flanking a coffin. As the train disappears into the distance, your shaking hands force you to step out of your car and wait a minute. There are no railway tracks and now no other sign of the train. When you finally finish your journey, you pull up at home six minutes ahead of what the time on your car’s clock was saying.
You’ve seen President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession. Over 150 years after he was assassinated.
The chilling reality is, this encounter could happen to you. Allegedly, President Lincoln’s funeral train recreates his final journey between Washington and Springfield, Illinois every April. The train causes clocks and watches to stop in its presence, leaving them 5-8 minutes behind, and sad music or a ghostly whistle can sometimes be heard. And, if all that wasn’t enough, Lincoln’s funeral train never reaches its destination. Is his train still making the journey because his body never found rest?
Haunted vehicles to set your spine-tingling
SILVERPILEN (SILVER ARROW) SUBWAY TRAIN
Beware the Stockholm subway late at night for a ghostly vehicle is said to roam the tracks, stopping at random stations at unpredictable times. And, because it may be what you think is the last train, an unsuspecting commuter may not question the empty carriages or unpainted silver exterior, especially if they aren’t familiar with the Stockholm subway colour scheme. The lack of advertisements and partially removed graffiti inside the carriages may seem more suspicious but seeing a carriage full of ghostly passengers is certain to frighten you.
The most unlucky of those who board the ghost train may end up at Kymlinge – the subway station of the dead. Those who end up in this abandoned subway station can lose weeks or years of their lives before emerging back into the world – if they’re lucky. Some are never seen again, thought to be taken to a station which has no exit…
FRANZ FERDINAND’S GRÄF & STIFT LIMOUSINE
The first really sinister haunted vehicle on the list. The bad luck associated with Franz Ferdinand’s limousine started on the fateful day he was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, thus sparking the First World War. Having narrowly avoided death earlier in the day, Ferdinand’s limousine inexplicably stalled outside the cafe Princip was just stepping out of and both the Archduke and his wife were shot dead.
Over the next 12 years, 13 deaths were allegedly caused by this haunted car. As well as the Austrian General who was driven insane while driving it, ending his days in an insane asylum, there were two peasants and a German military officer all killed in the same crash, a Swiss racing driver who rolled the car and a Romanian owner on his way to a wedding who lost control of the vehicle, the spectacular crash killing him and his five passengers. The car is now on display in the War History Museum of Vienna where it sits worryingly unscathed for a vehicle involved in so many fatal accidents. Has some malevolent force kept it in such good shape over all these years?
BONNIE AND CLYDE’S HAUNTED CAR
Two of the most infamous villains of the 20th Century, famous for a string of robberies, murders and kidnappings in the 1930s, continue to strike fear into people’s hearts nearly 80 years later. On the night of May 23rd 1934, police ambushed their 1932 Ford Model 18 near Sailes in Louisiana and delivered swift justice for Bonnie and Clyde’s crimes in the form of over 100 bullets, which killed them both instantly. But that wasn’t the end of these notorious criminals.
That same car now sits in Whiskey Pete’s Casino in Nevada – still in its bullet-ridden state. Seeing such an eerie sight would be enough for a place on this list but many visitors have reported an uneasy sense of not feeling alone near this car and some photos of the car show inexplicable objects nearby or inside it. There’s nothing definitive, but could the ghosts of Bonnie and Clyde be forever tied to the vehicle in which they were killed?
NUMBER 7 LONDON BUS
The sight of a red London bus is familiar and comforting to most English drivers – but not when you’re heading towards a head-on collision with one. For one unfortunate driver in 1934, the sighting of the ‘Phantom Bus’ proved fatal, as his car exploded into flames when he swerved into a wall without any rhyme or reason.
At least not until several witnesses came forward during the investigation and testified about the existence of this ghostly vehicle. Between the 1930s and 1990, many Londoners reported narrowly avoiding a collision with an unlit, unmanned Number 7 bus driving in the centre of the road. It always appeared around Cambridge Gardens at 1:15 am – a time no buses should have been in the area.
After thundering past the panicked drivers, it always disappeared into the night without a trace. The police were left baffled by the ‘Phantom Bus’ – so, what exactly was it?
Downright evil vehicles that will have you hiding behind the sofa in fright
JAMES DEAN’S PORSCHE 500 SPYDER ‘LITTLE BASTARD’
“You’ll be dead within a week if you get into that thing,” Alec Guinness said to James Dean upon seeing the brand new car the Hollywood starlet had bought. Exactly seven days later Dean and his mechanic, Rolf Wütherich, ploughed into the back of a Ford Tudor which suddenly turned off the road in front of them.
Not only was Guinness’ comment scarily prophetic, but Dean and Wütherich also weren’t the only victims of ‘Little Bastard’. After George Barris, a famous Hollywood car customiser, sold the engine and drivetrain to William Eschrich and Dr McHenry respectively, McHenry was killed and Eschrich injured in the same Californian race. The shell of ‘Little Bastard’ then continued to wreak havoc as it injured and killed several people while on display in various schools and in transit on the back of lorries.
There are two things which make ‘Little Bastard’ stand out on this list. While it was on display in California as an illustration of the disastrous consequences of careless driving, the garage burned down. Everything was destroyed, all except this malevolent car, which came out of the fire without so much as a scratch. Then, in 1960, five years after Dean’s death, ‘Little Bastard’ allegedly disappeared off the back of the truck which was transporting it. Without an engine.
To this day, it hasn’t been found.
Introducing the ‘most evil car in America’, a 1964 Dodge 330 Limited Edition. All three police officers who drove this car during its years as a cruiser brutally murdered their families and then killed themselves. After it was sold, doors would open on the highway, the engine would stall without reason, the steering would jam, the brakes would give out – the car seemed hell-bent on killing as many people as possible.
And it didn’t like people trying to steal or joy-ride it either.
A series of would-be vandals in the 1980s and ’90s were all killed in gruesome ways. At least two children were killed near the Golden Eagle and came to rest on either the bumper or the bonnet of the car and an entire family died in a house fire two weeks after a child was dared to touch the car. Even though the Golden Eagle was dismantled in 2010, prompted by the belief of local churches that the car was possessed by a demon, enough parts have been found to reconstruct the shell of the car – but some of those who helped break the car up didn’t survive long enough to see it, killed shortly after vandalising the Golden Eagle.
Possibly the closest real-life vehicle to the killer car in the Stephen King novel, Christine, this blood-thirsty car has killed over 14 people – and it’s possible that number is much, much higher.
Evil. That’s the only way to describe this terrifying Soviet limousine which frightened people so much they believed it to be driven by Satan himself.
Some would see tyre rims appear out of nowhere or ram’s horns where the side mirrors should be. And there were always disappearances whenever the car appeared. Children were taken and never seen again and anyone who tried to intervene was killed within the next 24 hours – if not instantly. The car appeared out of nowhere during the 1960s and ’70s and hasn’t been seen since.
This one would be the easiest to dismiss as scaremongering by the Soviet Government to install further terror into the oppressed population but for one particular story. In Ukraine during the 1960s, a report tells of two girls being approached by the Black Volga before being sucked inside as if it were a vacuum cleaner. A witness, instead of dropping dead like all the others, managed to open the door to reveal… nothing. The front of the car was completely empty. Before he could see anything else, there was a blinding white flash and the next thing the man knew, he was waking up 24 hours later with a terrible headache.
The truth about the Black Volga, and what happened to the abducted children, may never be known. But surely it wasn’t the Devil himself – was it?
So, there we have it, ten vehicles associated with creepy and unexplained events. Are they all just urban legends or was some supernatural force involved? Considering how many tales there are of haunted houses and the strange feelings people experience all the time, perhaps there is more truth to these stories than you think…